Friday, September 27, 2013

Champs 2013 -- Day 2!

The boys were very bored this morning. But they were both pretty cute sporting their Back on Track jackets (okay, Luke is squeezed into Secret's...).   :o)

Last night was kind of rough. I think I might have mentioned in yesterday's post that Kizzy was a bit off. Well, right before we went to bed she blew out the back end and then about five minutes after the lights turned off she yacked in bed. Poor Kizzy. The stress of the day just got to her. I'm happy to report that she did much better today! She didn't get much to eat this morning and didn't have any more diarrhea or vomiting. By the time dinner rolled around she was back to bouncing and leaping while I prepared their dishes. Her big excitement of the day was when she broke out of the crate in the car and jumped out the car window.... Thank GOD someone I know (through Facebook, at least) saw it happen and grabbed her. I found out about this later when she messaged me on Facebook to see how Kizzy was. Ummm.... WHAT?! Well, I'm glad I know and I'm glad it turned out well -- so now Kizzy is back in the stall. I gave her a bully stick and at 12" long, that sucker should last her a while. It seemed to go better. We'll see.

Luke was up first this morning without too long of a wait (he was 29th in the ring). Round 3 just happened to be almost an exact replica of round 5 from 2011 -- the Weavers-focused course. There were only three differences -- the distance line, swapping a tunnel for the hoop at the start and the long set of weaves was cut to six. This was the course that Luke finally placed on in 2011 so I had my fingers crossed. He ROCKED it with another fantastic run and ended up in 6th place! I really couldn't be happier with that run. So we improved on two counts -- first we got a placement in an earlier round (3rd vs 5th) and he also bettered his placement (he got 7th on that course last time).  :o)

Secret seriously nailed that course, too. She was hauling ass, especially considering it was weaves focused (hooray for sets of six that are apparently more motivating!). Because of her recent feelings that she doesn't have to stop on contacts, I babysat the dog walk at the end more than I perhaps normally would have -- and since she was charging off faster than she typically runs I was more or less left in the dirt when I released her. She was sending ahead of me so well that I think I just forgot to say anything, so she stopped and spun in front of the last tunnel. I'd say in total we wasted at least three seconds, and that's just how far out of the ribbons she was. Bummer. I love how happy she is running, though! She is living up to her "sassypants" label as we wait in line, that's for sure. Bark, bark, bark, bark....

In 2011 Kaiser won on this course fairly handily (he had a giant bobble where he almost went off course and then I had to reset the weaves), so I also had high hopes for him. Well, it wasn't mean to be. He was a very good boy and gave me a stay at the start, but he still missed the entry to the first set of weaves. It took three tries to get him in the poles, which was a HUGE time suck. Not only that but on one of the resets he back-weaved for 10 faults. I had to fix the third set of weaves as well (same set as 2011), so that was more time. Yeah... Nowhere near the placements for that run. I liken this to Round 3 in 2011, though -- Kaiser does NOT like waiting so late in the day for his first run (he was in the last group today) and he goes a little crazy. He got 30 faults in round 3 last time, though, so I guess I'll take the 10!

Round 4 this afternoon/evening was a really fun course! It didn't seem familiar in the least, which was nice for a change. It was a more "technical" course (for NADAC at least) and many of us felt that this course would really shake things up a bit -- and it did. Many classes got rearranged a bit after this course.

Luke was awesome, awesome, awesome on this run. I really pushed him -- but I pushed too hard and released too soon on the dog walk. It was close -- really close. And because there are some 12" dogs running out of order I had to wait until almost the end to see if it got called or not. It did. Without the 10 faults it would have been another 6th place run, but ultimately I think it knocked him into 18th or something. Overall, though, he's in 13th place and well within reach of the finals if he continues to run as awesome as he always does.

I worry about Secret for as dead as she acts in the stall, but it's deceptive -- apparently she's learned that she needs to store her energy for the runs and then it just EXPLODES out of her. lol I thought that tonight's round would really be her time to shine. And she did -- she put in a *fantastic* first half of the course with a beautiful sequence from the dog walk through a tricky (for NADAC) serpentine into the weaves. Then it was a race to get her into the "out tunnel" under the a-frame (behind a line). I take the blame. She was charging ahead. I really felt like she had locked on to the tunnel and I'm sure I started to take a step away just prior to her actual commitment point. Bam, she pulled off and touched the a-frame. She may have only touched it with three paws, but when I attempted to resend her she climbed right back up the frame. 10 faults. Then I gave up and crossed the line for 5 more faults. Those plus the added time we spent in that area kind of sunk us. After today Secret is in 15th place overall. I'm still crossing my fingers for some placements for her, though. I know she has it in her!!

Tonight was Kaiser's night. This was kind of a replay of day two in 2011, really. Bad first round, awesome second round. It's kind of funny to think that Kaiser did so well on the more "technical" course with more off course opportunities, but he was just awesome. The awesomeness started with a fantastic lead-out that let me get a head start on the dog walk (thank you, Kaiser!!) and he stopped nice and deep so I could release him without wasting time begging for a creep. His serpentine was super nice, especially considering that it required him to jump right into me and we know how much he "loves" that. I was a little behind when he came out of the tunnel under the a-frame and he pulled in to me and ALMOST flipped out to take the hoop backwards. I wasted a lot of time in that spot trying to ensure that we stayed clean, but as soon as we were past it he was right back into gear and just flew through the end. I was worried about the final stretch because Kaiser has a habit of running past the a-frame when he is running at full speed. Not only was he running full out coming out of a tunnel, but it was also an "out frame" with that tunnel under it (we just don't see "out frame" that much). Blessedly the jump before the frame was more or less pointing them right at it, so Kaiser didn't even flinch. I was ahead of him saying, "Go! Go! Go! Go!" And he did.  :o)  Even with that GIANT bobble he was over a second ahead of the second place dog.

Several dogs in Kaiser's class struggled on this course. The standings got shuffled quite a bit and Kaiser is now in 8th place. We think 6 dogs go into the finals and if he can keep running clean there is still a shot. I don't know, I just need to focus on having fun with him and not putting so much pressure on us.

Can't wait to get our pretty blue ribbon tomorrow!  :o) Time for bed, it's almost 10:00. Hoping to actually sleep tonight....

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